Development team is an integral part of the product. The product trio is incomplete without developers. They can build awesome products if they participate in product discovery.
As we will see why active participation of developers in product discovery can build awesome products.
Before that, let’s understand Product trio and Product discovery.
3 to tango !
A product is hard to build without 3 key teams- Product team, Design/Architecture team and Development team. The leads of these 3 teams make a product trio.
In other words- a Product trio comprises a Product Manager, a Design Lead and a Technical Lead/Development Lead.
These 3 roles are required to build great digital products.
Please note that, that does not mean that other members do not contribute to the product.
It is just that, the leads take the calls and do the trade-offs. Wherever required.
This product trio work collaboratively from end-to-end, iterating to provide the desired outcome– an awesome product !
When a product trio works together, they better understand customers and their requirements (oftentimes untold !). And that is the key for the value they create for customers.
In simple words, product discovery is understanding customer needs and deciding to develop a product based on those needs.
This is the process -The product team meets, interacts and understands the client and their expectations of the product.
There can be client interviews, surveys, workshops etc where the team interacts with customers.
Then describe the work to make decisions about the product, to be built.
Good product discovery involves the customer throughout the decision making process.
Discovery is fueled by valuable insights explored during customer interviews/surveys.
Digital products development is never said to be ‘Done’.
We should always iterate and improve upon.
Great product teams always aim at providing more value for customers. That intern adds value to the business.
Therefore, there should be a continuous discovery process for digital products.
Value Creation by participation of the development team in the discovery process.
Now we know what is Product Trio and what is Product Discovery.
So, being an integral part of the product trio, developers can add more value to products. Hence increase the customer delight.
Let us see how:
In agile world, Development Team=Developers + Testers
- Developers are usually expert technically.
- They would have experience in awesome products.
- Developers know the advantages and limitations of developing products, technically.
- They can bring those experiences and knowledge to the table during discovery.
- Developers can come up with best solutions for the challenges or features of the product.
- They would be more creative in utilizing their vast technical knowledge.
- They can easily relate and map customers’ needs with technical possibilities.
- Developers can translate the theoretical ideas about the product to reality. This can be by means of UML diagrams, prototypes.
- Testes are the first customers of the product (under development)
- They use and test the product as the customer would do (when released to production). Generally, it would be a process, where testers develop test cases based on user stories. And then execute them
- But, if testers are participating in the Product discovery, they would have more insights on the customers and requirements
- They can develop more test cases (positive and negative) based on those insights
- Probably, they can suggest additional requirements/features in the product
- By doing so, a quality product with enhanced features is delivered to customers.
This would greatly increase the customer delight.
In Addition :
- The development team (developers +testers) pose disconfirming questions and challengehypotheses.
- Those disconfirming questions can uncover flaws in the ideas.
- Questions they ask would be of great value. These can avoid making wrong assumptions by the product team.
- The ‘Dare devil’ role played by the development team is very important.
Therefore it adds value to customers and delight customers by involving the development team in Product discovery.
Also, there will be a sense of belongingness among the development team. They will be ‘empowered’.
They become ‘missionaries’ – Driven by mission. They work passionately to achieve the mission of the product development.
The business can expect more awesome products.
Developers and Testers together make ‘Development’ teams in an agile world.
They bring their valuable technical expertise to the table during the decision making process.
This ‘Development’ team plays the ‘Dare devil’ role. Ask unconfirmed questions and uncover wrong assumptions.
Thus, involving the development team in the product discovery, helps in building great products-delivering value-delighting customers.